From printing out advertisement folders written in Mandarin to scheduling food trucks and vendors, Punchline Productions is busy setting the stage for the University’s first-ever outdoor music festival, complete with a multi-artist line-up and vendors for students to enjoy.
Senior Josh Hoffman-Peterson, president and founder of The Punch Line, has been wanting to organize a music festival at the University since he was a freshman. This year, he is eager to present the University’s first outdoor music festival coordinated by Punchline Productions.
“We wanted to establish a new tradition for the University that everyone can look forward to basically every year,” Hoffman-Peterson said.
Punchline Productions is a student-led, event management “dedicated to putting on the best live music shows and festivals in Urbana-Champaign,” according to the Punchline Productions Facebook account.
Punchline Productions is currently in its second year of functioning and has eight committees dedicated to the organization of the festival. Some committees involved in the organization include artist booking, corporate relations and safety planning. “We kind of have areas for every aspect of planning,” Hoffman-Peterson said.
Punchline Productions consists of 60 actively enrolled students who are responsible for the management and planning of the festival, as well as keeping a mailing list of students interested in helping out with production.
The festival will take place on April 18 in Lot 31 and will feature local bands, Chicago-area rap acts and more well-known headliners. Hoffman-Peterson was unable to specify who those headliners would be.
“The goal has been to try to create something that’s more diverse with something for everybody,” Hoffman-Peterson said. “We’re looking at incorporating different genres, having a couple of larger headlining artists, paired with some smaller local artists and student acts.”
According to Hoffman-Peterson, tickets will cost between $15 and $25, and the festival will be one day long. Artist selection will be determined by a campus-wide survey Punchline Productions sent out earlier in the year.
“The idea is for us to find things that will appeal to the wider demographics at the University of Illinois,” Hoffman-Peterson said.
Punchline Productions is planning to hire food trucks and vendors to heighten the festival experience and is interested in creating a student showcase for students to participate in. Hoffman-Peterson is also considering renting inflatables, sports equipment and even including possible art installations in the future to provide a “comprehensive festival environment.”
Hoffman-Peterson said this year’s event will be the starting point for an improved music festival and believes the event will only grow in popularity in the coming years. He said he wants Punchline’s festival to emulate the experience of an authentic music event, similar to the spirit of Lollapalooza.
This year’s festival is merely a prototype for a better, larger festival in the future, according to Hoffman-Peterson. His plan is to establish this year’s event first to attract attendees and then use the momentum from this year to build an even bigger event next year.
According to Hoffman-Peterson, “the difference between this and other events that have happened in the past is we want there to be a line up that has something for everybody.”
Punchline Productions is still recruiting members to aid in the festival’s organization process.
“The more people we have involved, the more people we can represent, and the bigger we can make the event essentially,” Hoffman-Peterson said. “If anyone wants to join they can email firstname.lastname@example.org or look us up on social media at Punchline Productions.”